The Hollywoodland sign

Hollywoodland housing development, Los Angeles, CA - DaveTavres.comI’ve always been a fan of the history of the Hollywoodland sign… so here’s some history and photos…

The Hollywood sign was originally the Hollywoodland sign – yes, for many years the word "land" was on the end of the sign.  It was a very large advertisement for some land developers who were building new, high end homes in the hills of Los Angeles.  Before the developers went bankrupt, they turned the sign over to the city of Los Angeles and it became part of Griffith Park.

"You are now in Hollywoodland, Tracy E. Shoults Co." - DaveTavres.comDedication party, July 13, 1923 - DaveTavres.com

The sales and construction offices (above left) featured a large sign that read "You are now in Hollywoodland, Tracy E. Shoults Co." The Hollywoodland sign was officially dedicated on July 13, 1923 (above right). What would eventually become a symbol of Southern California, movies and filmmaking sat mostly untouched for many years. In 1949 the letters “LAND” were removed. Over the years, the sign became dangerous to anyone venturing around the remnants of the landmark.

Crumbling Hollywoodland sign - DaveTavres.comDilapidated letters of the Hollywoodland sign - DaveTavres.comThe Hollywood Sign - 1978 - Ken Papaleo, Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection - 00041558 - DaveTavres.com

Hollywoodland (Images of America Series) by Mary Mallory - DaveTavres.comIn the 1970’s, several celebrities sponsored each of the dilapidated letters and money was raised for the $250,000 rebuild of the sign.  In 1978 the sign was demolished and was gone for about 3 months, then in November was dedicated as a historic landmark and the ceremony was shown on live TV. Here’s the list of contributors:

H: publisher Terrence Donnelly
O: producer Giovanni Mazza
L: Kelley Blue Book founder Les Kelley
L: actor/singer Gene Autry
Y: Hugh Hefner
W: singer Andy Williams
O: Alice Cooper, donating in the name of Groucho Marx
O: Warner Bros. Records
D: Thomas Poole

3143 Ledgewood Dr., approx. 1925 - DaveTavres.comApproximate address: 3143 Ledgewood Dr.
Google Street view: 34.125724,-118.32215
Bing Bird’s eye view: Just to the left of the dot
Approximate years: 1925 & 2008 3143 Ledgewood Dr., approx. 2008 - DaveTavres.com

The house and garage are still standing today. If you move around in Google Street view, you can look up and see the house. The Bing view makes it much easier to see the house.Hollywoodland home and sign - 1932

View from the Hollywood sign - DaveTavres.comConstruction on the letter "D" - DaveTavres.com

Filming at Bronson Caves - DaveTavres.com

Filming at Bronson Caves

Hollywoodland sign with radio tower - DaveTavres.comHollywood sign - DaveTavres.com#89 bus Fairfax-Adams - DaveTavres.comHollywoodland (Custom)

Hollywood development - DaveTavres.comHollywoodland development - Beachwood Canyon - 1925 - DaveTavres.comHelicopter shot from Google maps - DaveTavres.com
Helicopter shot from Google maps
Aerial view of the Hollywood sign from Bing maps

    Hollywoodland by moonlightHollywoodland - DaveTavres.comHollywoodland lit up - DaveTavres.com

Hollywoodland with teamsters - DaveTavres.com

1923 publicity photo for the Hollywoodland development."Hollywoodland" as seen in the movie "Chaplin" - DaveTavres.com

1946 Hollywoodland sign - Vermont Ave. - DaveTavres.com

"Hollywood" - DaveTavres.com

The Hollywoodland development was even immortalized in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (at 1:18:04).Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1:18:04) - DaveTavres.com

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